If you’re looking for some scares this Halloween, try a haunted tour of the Mesilla Valley.
Written by Cheryl Fallstead
1 The Rio Grande
Everyone knows the tale of La Llorona, the crying woman, who wanders the river banks in search of the children she drowned in anger and grief after discovering that their father, her aristocratic lover, had cheated on her. Realizing what she had done, she drowned herself. Reports of her dressed in white robes wandering the rivers of the Borderlands are the stuff legends are made of.
La Llorona Park, Picacho Blvd. at the Rio Grande
2. La Posta
One of Mesilla’s most famous restaurants, La Posta, is said to have its own ghost or two. One visitor says she was walking in the hallway near the jewelry store, and saw a man in a white shirt appear behind her and suddenly was gone. Others report smashing glasses, strange smells, and something scaring the birds in the indoor aviary. There is another ghost, that of a child who once lived in a family home there.
2410 Calle de San Albino, Mesilla
3. Amador Hotel
This 1866 building, once a unique hotel, is said to be haunted, including by a playful spirit named Annie. Shadowy figures are reported to have been seen, flashlights turned off and on, and arms scratched.
180 W. Amador Avenue, Las Cruces (Currently closed for renovation.)
4. Double Eagle Restaurant
Probably the second most famous haunters in our area are the ill-fated couple at the Double Eagle. Young lovers Armando and family servant Inez were killed by his mother in a fit of rage when she caught them together after forbidding their relationship. The deed is said to have been done in the restaurant’s Carlotta Room. Reports of cool breezes through a closed room, hearing names being called when no one is there, lights being turned off and on, and wear on “their” chairs that no one else uses keeps the tongues wagging about their illicit relationship.
2355 Calle de Guadalupe, Mesilla
5. Old Memorial General Hospital
From 1948 to 1972, this building was the city’s only hospital and since then it has been used as city offices, a veterans’ center, and is now a medical building. In 2010, the city allowed paranormal investigators to check for ghosts. Employees in the building have reported elevator doors opening and closing and seeing figures. One employee, who at the time didn’t know the building had been a hospital, reported that when he was downstairs, he felt pain, anger, and death. He later learned that floor had held the morgue.
Lohman Avenue and Alameda Blvd.
6. Las Cruces Railroad Museum
Once the city’s train depot, this Mission Revival-style building provided passenger service from 1910 to 1968. While long-time museum staff say they’ve never had any encounters, some say it is haunted by four ghosts: two men, a woman, and a little boy. Reports are they are peaceful spirits who sometimes move things from place to place. Perhaps they are just waiting to hit the rails to a better place. Open Tuesday through Saturday.
351 N. Mesilla Street at Las Cruces Avenue
7. Boyd’s Sanitarium at Dripping Springs Natural Area
It’s no wonder that a one-time hospital for those suffering from tuberculosis is reputed to be haunted by those who lived their final days there. Reports of shadowy figures, feeling unwell, nightmares while camping in the area, and malfunctioning equipment keep the rumors of haunting alive.
15000 Dripping Springs Road
8. Doña Ana County Courthouse
Built in 1937 and housing jail cells, this building has been examined by paranormal investigators from Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures show, and is currently the home of Southwest Expeditions and their new venture, Backhand Entertainment. They have done extensive investigations in the building and have both audio and visual recordings of voices, footsteps, jail cell doors closing and opening without explanation, and have witnessed, but not yet filmed, full body apparitions, a figure complete with bowtie and handlebar moustache. Backhand Entertainment is offering paranormal investigation tours of the building, where participants will be armed with all the tools they need to be paranormal investigators to search the jail area for signs of haunting. More information at swexpeditions.com or by calling 877-808-6877.
251 West Amador Ave.